We are a little bit after Chanukkah and we are very close to the Christian holidays. There are a lot of similarities between these two holidays, the Jewish one and the non-Jewish one.
The main thing about the Christian holidays is that it’s light with less and less light. The day becomes more and more short and then becomes again longer and longer. The days are more and more short until it becomes the shortest day in the year, which originally was the 25th of December in the Julian calendar. Today it’s Gregorian, so it comes on the 21st, the shortest day of the year.
How does Chanukkah have something similar? In Chanukkah, we have two opinions about how we light the candles. One of the main makhlokhet (disputes; arguments) between our Sages is the House of Shammai and the House of Hillel. Of course, “Elu v’elu divrei Elokim Chaim” (“They are both words of the living G-d”), even if one says so and the other says something completely else. About Chanukkah, Beit Shammai says that we start with eight candles and after we go less and less (decrease). This is like John the Baptist said about himself, “I will go less and less and Yeshua will go up and up.” We can say that we have two lights where one has to go with the days becoming more and more short. Shammai says we should start with eight candles going until we get to one candle. Beit Hilel says, “No, we start with one and we go up one, two, three, four, five, etc.”
One of the ideas of my rabbi [Yitzhak Ginsburgh] is to connect the two opinions together and make a holiday of fifteen days. If we start with Beit Shammai: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, so it’s like 8 days plus seven days. So it’s less and less light, like what’s supposed to be the 25th of December (minimum light) and after, the light is more and more. In pagan times, this used to be the birth of the sun god, or whatever. It was in many pagan religions that the god died and was born again. There are many different stories about this, but even if the root is pagan, there is a holy spark in this idea of the light going down and then going up.
We can see that if we put together these two opinions of Chanukkah, then this last day (15th day) will be the 9th of Tevet. If there will be 30 days in the month of Kislev, this will be the 9th of Tevet. Otherwise, it will be the Tenth of Tevet. The Ninth of Tevet is, according to Jewish tradition, when Jesus was born. It’s interesting that when they checked the calendar that was 2,000 years ago, the 25th of December happened in the month of Tevet, which comes to be the last day, when you get to the maximum of the Chanukkah light.
Altogether here, we have 71 candles, which is “Yimach shmo” (“his name is Yimach”) in ordinal number Gematria. This is also “v’chai behem“ (“and you shall live by them”). This expression appears three times in the Bible, if I’m not wrong. All the commandments are to “live by them,” not to die by them.
If I do the opposite, starting with the opinion of Beith Hillel and come back to Beit Shammai, then I will have 64 candles altogether, which is eight (lights) squared…
If we make a connection between these two opinions, we have the eight and the seven. We have two concepts which are part of this holy day of Chanukah – the seven and the eight. Where do we have the appearance of the concept of the seven and the eight? In the Book of Michah (5:4), he says that G-d will send against Ashur (Assyria), “seven shepherds and eight princes of men.” There are seven ‘ro’im’ (shepherds) and eight ‘nesichei adam’ (princes of men). Eight is the concept of ‘Grace.’ What is the difference between the concept of the shepherds and that of the princes? It’s like the concept of light that I can receive inside (‘ohr p’nimi’); something that I understand becomes part of me. But eight is always a surrounding light, always has to do with the ‘mother,’ which is above creation. Like the mother that we call the ‘firmament.’
“And this one shall be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land, And when he treads in our palaces, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight princely men.”-Micah 5:4
We talk about ‘ro’eh’ (shepherd) and ‘nasikh’ (prince), which is the acronym of ‘Ner’ (candle). So each candle represents the connection between them both. Someone who is a shepherd is like someone who teaches me Torah. Someone who is a prince is someone whose personality I worship, but not primarily his knowledge that he teaches me, like the Rebbe. It’s like to be impressed by someone is to receive a surround light from that person. I saw him and woah, I was impressed. Not in holiness, this can become idolatry and worshiping the personality, instead of the knowledge being important, I make a big deal from the personality. This is what happened to Jesus, but really he is a shepherd, like he said about himself. Even though we may not see it, he is more of a shepherd than a prince. It means he has more to do with the number seven than the number eight. When we talk about the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, the seventh one is “ve’emet,” (“and true”). ‘Emet’ is always the male one. Afterwards is “notzer chesed,” the eighth one which has the acronym of ‘Chen’ and ‘chen’ (grace) always has to do with eight.
‘Ve’emet’ is what we call the light of the Face of G-d. We call it ‘sha (ש״ע, Gematria of 370) nehorin,’ what are the most important basic letters of Yeshua (ישוע), because Yud and Vav are not root letters. They fall and are added easily to many words. The seven here is the secret of Jesus, the light of the Face, and the two cheeks, which are the two personalities (Jacob and Esau), the two eyes. ‘Panim’ (face; cheeks) equals ‘eyes’ in Gematria. This is called the Face (Heb. pl. panim). ‘Sha’ has to do with Yeshuot. We call the salvation “Yeshuah,” “Yeshuot and Nechamot.” Nechamot is another kind of salvation, but has to do with ‘Chen;’ two different kinds of ‘Geulah’ (‘redemption’) and these two words go together in many of the prayers.
Seven is the light that goes inside, but eight is the surrounding light. Even though Yeshua is the son of G-d, the son always has to do with seven. The son is Yaakov. Yitzchak is the mother. How much is ‘Yaakov’ in Gematria? Seven times the name of G-d. How much is Yitzhak? Eight times the name of G-D. How much is Yosef? Six times the name of G-D. Eight is the concept of the prince, like he received his kingdom from his father. Now, in the Temple there were only seven candles, but we light the sixth one after the seventh, which means that the sixth one is the eighth one, like Jesus said about the Beast of the seven kings. There were five kings, not any more, and after, there are two more.
“of whom five have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction.”-Revelation 17:10-11
Yoshiyahu is the fifth king. There’s Achaz, Chizkiyahu, Menashe, Amon, and Yoshiyahu; Five kings. After Yoshiyahu, came Yehoyakim, and after, Yehoyakin, but really there are a few brothers that belong to the generation of Yehoyakim, and part of them, like Tzidkiyahu, came after Yehoyakin. It’s like Zerach is a little bit before Peretz, only his hand. It’s like a small kingdom, not really a revelation of that generation. Only after Yehoyakin, as the donkey and priest, will there come a real revelation of the eighth one which is really from the seven – the sixth one.
After ‘Shema Yisrael,’ we say the seven words which are ‘ahuv, chaviv, nechmad (‘cute,’ which has to do with the chen, grace of a kid)’… Yosef and Yitzchak are like the same personality, even though Yosef is Avraham and Yitzhak is David. These three words together have the acronym of ‘Achon’ (which is also an acronym of ‘Adam, Chavah, Nachash’), “I will give grace (to whomever I will give grace).” Even though she is a woman, the concept of Chavah always has to do with David, the King. Adam, the first man always has to do with the concept of Yosef. If you do a triangle of ‘Adam’ in Gematria, it equals ‘Yosef.’ Our Sages say that “all sevens are Chaviv.” ‘Chaviv’ is another way to say ‘lovely’ and ‘nechmad’ is ‘cute’…”